Why Did I Chose Edge Hill?

Some of you may be aware that I moved over to Edge Hill University from Northern Ireland which is similar for a lot of people in my course and at Edge Hill in general.

 

So, why did I choose to move all the way over for my course in primary teaching when I could have stayed in the comfort of my own home where all my surroundings and people were comforting and familiar? We will take that as my first point;

For the longest time, I was very much a creature of habit. I took great comfort in knowing where I was and the fact that everything in my life stayed exactly the same was very satisfying. It wasn’t until I was completing my A-Levels, did I realise that I needed a change in my life that would push me to become more independent and, in fear of sounding corny, to ‘find myself.’ I think that moving away from home to somewhere completely new to me was the best thing for me and Edge Hill was the best place to start.

The second reason why I chose Edge Hill was because, not going to lie, the campus was beautiful. As you might have gathered, I need to be comfortable in my surroundings and so Edge Hill was the perfect spot for me in terms of environment and location. It was big, but not so big that it was overwhelming and it was located right next to a small town which was so important to me as I am not a city girl in the slightest. Image result for edge hill university

The final reason why I chose Edge Hill was because of the course it offered me. My original first choice was Bath Spa University but I realised that the course that was offered there may not be best suited for me. The Primary Teaching course at Edge Hill University allowed me to finish the course within 3 years and offered me so much opportunity to expand my practice in the profession which in the long run, would benefit me so much! And I am so glad that I did choose this course as it has provided me with so much knowledge and opportunities that I did not know that I needed.


There you go! That was 3 reasons why I chose to study at Edge Hill University rather than be in my lovely Ireland. The experience of moving has been crazy and filled with so many memories that I will never forget and I can say truthfully that I have no regrets about moving so far away!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

-Walt Disney-

Getting more than you asked for… 😱

Hello! 

I thought I’d share with you a little adventure I/we went on today, and why this made me feel very grateful for being at Edge Hill University.

As part of the Primary Education with QTS course, you choose a major specialism e.g. English, Maths, Science or Modern Foreign Languages, then a minor e.g. any of the foundation subjects (EAL and SENd are also an option!).

I chose History as my minor specialism and today we all ventured down to Liverpool to undertake a very historical and informative trip.

We all really enjoyed today and it’s a nice break from all the academia.

While I walking around today I couldn’t help but think how amazing this course, and university, really is. To get the opportunity to learn about such amazing history, on a teaching course for one, but also all the other extra bits Edge Hill do to make this place stand out from the rest.

You can learn a language! 📖

There is a Language Centre on campus that provide various different opportunities for you to study a language. This can be with your course or as a module if you are based in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, or, like me you can attend evening classes. These are open to students, staff and public, but as a registered EHU student, you pay £0! An amazing opportunity to take advantage of while you’re here.

The Student Opportunity Fund! 💰

“You can apply for up to £2,000 to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich your student experience and enable you to stand out in a competitive environment.”

I have recently joined a networking group (#SDGNetwork) that is paid for by the SOF and it allows a group of us to better understand the importance of sustainability, how we can live more sustainable but also how to teach this to pupils in primary schools. It is an amazing experience to be a part of and I can’t believe it is covered for us under this opportunity.

I will write about this network in the future, and if you are coming to Edge Hill as a student in September 2019, you will no doubt meet some of us in a lecture or seminar! Thanks for reading!

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Get Ready With Me For the Week Ahead!

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having an amazing weekend. Some people dread the weekend coming to a close and we all have experienced the Sunday night blues when you know that you have a long week ahead of you.

I still sometimes experience this but ever since starting university, I love using my Sunday to relax but to also prepare myself for Monday morning. Keep reading to find out what I do!


Meal Prep!

As I am currently on my first professional practice as a trainee teacher, finding time during the week to make my lunches everyday is quite hard as I don’t return back to my flat until 6pm. This is why meal prepping is so handy. 

On a Sunday night, I dedicate at least 30 minutes or an hour to prepare my lunch for the week. This means that when I get back from school, I don’t have to worry about taking time out of my lesson planning to make my lunch for the following day. Even if you are not on placement, preparing your lunch or dinner for the week means that you have so much more time to work or write your assignments.

Disclaimer – my meal preps do not look as aesthetically pleasing as this. Thanks Google!

 

To Do List

As I have mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I am a huge fan of diaries. It wasn’t until I started university did I fully appreciate keeping a to do list in my diary. 

Every Sunday morning, I sit in the catalyst, open my diary and plan out what I need to get done this week, when I can fit in a gym session and what lessons I am going to be teaching. In a weird way, making a to do list for the week makes me feel less stressed about all I have to do. I can see what needs to be done and I have made sure that I have to the time to complete them whilst also fitting in when I can do the things I enjoy.

What my Sunday mornings look like!

 

Pack!

This one may sound very condescending and bring you back to the days in high school when you forgot a book and your teacher said, “did you not pack your bag the night before?” Just me?

Anyway, I always make sure that I pack my bag for the following day. On a Sunday, I check that I have all the books I need for classes throughout the week meaning I have time to go to the catalyst and get any books that I do not have.

Packing your bag the night before also allows for extra time in the morning to make a good breakfast rather than rushing around trying to find a missing book.

My school bag is not as nice as this and so, Google images comes to the rescue once again!

 

Mentally Prepare Yourself 

Many people find Sunday nights quite stressful because of the looming week ahead and this is not a good way to start your week. 

As well as preparing everything and making sure I have everything sorted for the week, I also try to prioritise some ‘me’ time. This usually consists of going for an early morning or late evening walk, going to the gym, watching a TV show or reading a book. I try to do at least three of these things on a Sunday to give myself enough time to relax and calm my thoughts before starting a busy week!

One of my early, Sunday morning walks!

And that is how I prepare myself for a busy week! I genuinely love my Sunday ‘ritual’ because I feel so much more organised and relaxed about Monday morning.

Remember, the start of the week does not have to be so horrible, take it as an opportunity for a fresh start, a clean slate and not look at it so negatively. I hope you enjoyed this blog, see ya next time!

“Have a wonderful Monday and make the saying by Dennis P. Kimbro: “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it” your motto.”

-sweetytextmessages.com-

 

Computing at Edge Hill – Three skills to prepare you for Uni

Image result for computing edge hill


Computing is a broad and vast topic. It’s hard to know where to start, what to learn and when it becomes relevant. Having just finished my first year of Computing at Edge Hill I want to provide some advice on topics, languages and areas to focus on before you arrive to make your first year as easy as possible and give you time to focus on your specialisation. Please bear in mind that first year is a shared year, so even if you are on a Networking course you will be expected to study Web Development in your first year.


Basic HTML

Knowing basic HTML will help you in all aspects of your course and your future. Most projects require a web page, and modern applications are usually controlled by some form of website. Learning basic HTML along with bits of CSS, JavaScript and even PHP will ensure that you are ahead of the curve when it comes to your first year, especially in the Web Development module.


Java

While personally I am not a fan of Java knowing it before you arrive for University is a massive help. For your Programming module in year one you will be focusing on Java programming. Programs such as Alice can help you learn how to use Java, there are a plethora of books available also. Java is an interesting language, being object orientated using ‘classes’ it can be a challenge if you are more accustom to functional languages such as Python, PHP or BAT/BASH.


Networking Basics

Networking is another module that you will undertake in your first year. Knowing how IP’s, MAC addresses and packets are transmitted will help you understand the content of the module. Using your home network you could try setup static IP addresses, change your DNS server or just poke around and see how things work.


All of this might sound daunting, but this is an entirely extra credit task. You will be taught and supported fully throughout your first year, but if you have a passion for computing maybe you will take it upon yourself to look at these things. That’s all from me.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

 

What is the Primary Education course all about?

Hey everyone, I hope you all had an amazing weekend and are ready for the week ahead! I cannot believe that it is February already. This made me realise that a lot of you may have already had your interview for Edge Hill University as I had mine around a year ago!

This post will hopefully offer some more information about the Primary Education with QTS course that I am currently studying here and loving every minute of it. Enjoy!


What is the timetable like?

Personally, I find that the timetable for Primary Education is very good as it keeps me busy. Others would say that the timetable is rather ‘jam-packed,’ which is true but, in my opinion , the more classes, the better. 

My timetable looks something like this;

  • Monday – Independent Study
  • Tuesday – Minor Specialism
  • Wednesday – Foundation subject seminars which are sometimes followed by a curriculum lecture
  • Thursday – Core subjects such as; computing, maths and English
  • Friday – APD lecture followed by science then an APD seminar.

This timetable varies between the year group and over the years. As I said, some people may find this timetable rather busy but I love it because it keeps me busy, occupied and you appreciate the weekend more. Don’t worry, you still have time for socializing and going to any societies which makes the timetable much better.

 

Any exams?

Nope! Thankfully we have no written exams and so our grade is based on  assignments and our professional practice. This is good if you are better at writing essays with no looming time limit in a large hall but you need to have some self-discipline! Those assignments are not going to write and reference themselves, start them early so that there is no rush before the dreaded deadline.

I am currently on my professional practice and I am loving every single minute of it! A visiting tutor comes in to assess you against the Teacher Standards which means you must work very hard to involve yourself in every aspect of school life. Luckily for me, I am in an amazing school that has given me so many great opportunities for learning.

 

Duration?

The course that I am studying is a 3 year course. Each year you have a block placement that gets longer each year. For example, in first year currently, we are all on a 7 week block placement and then next year it will be longer.

First year has seriously gone by so fast so I have no idea how quickly the next couple of years of my life are going to go!

 

What are the staff and lectures like?

I am so happy that I chose Edge Hill University as my place to study to become a teacher. The staff and lecturers are amazing in terms of support and advice they give you, even during placement! 

All the lectures and seminars are really interactive and interesting so there is no need to worry about falling asleep at a 9am lecture because you will not want to miss it. You can tell that so much thought has been put in to each presentation and seminar which makes them so worth while coming to.

If you do happen to miss a lecture due to illness, some lectures are recorded and put up on Blackboard, a place we can all access work materials and assignment guidance. However, a recorded lecture is never the same as the real deal, trust me.


I hope that this post has been helpful to those of you who have applied to study Primary Education with QTS. It really is an amazing course, offering so many opportunities to expand your learning and experiences. I cannot wait for the next two years!

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”

– Brad Henry – 

Graduation is approaching…

Hello and happy Saturday!

For the past 2 years I have scrolled past the advertisement for the graduation ball thinking “oh that’s not going to be me any time soon…” And suddenly… it is.  I have actually bought a ticket for my graduation ball and I can’t really believe it!

Edge Hill University has given me so much and I don’t think I feel ready to leave!!! (I know I’m not quite leaving yet… but I’m sure that the last few months will go pretty fast). This makes me realise how JEALOUS I am of you freshers!!! SO my point to you is… do not wish university life away. Soon, you will NOT be scrolling past the graduation ball advertisements too! Here are some of my favourite things about the past couple of years at Edge Hill:

Ormskirk

Ormskirk has been the perfect place to enjoy university life. The beautiful countryside does not stop the town from having a buzzing nightlife filled with bars, live music and pubs.

My Course

My primary education course has provided brilliant teaching experience and interesting seminars where I have made life-long friends.  

Campus

Edge Hill’s campus is the main reason why I decided to apply here. The modern accommodation and never-ending list of things to do makes it a wonderful place to be. Wednesday night socials, karaoke and the student quiz nights are some of the wonderful events that take place at the SU.

When you arrive at Edge Hill on move in Sunday, you will see for yourself how great your university experience will be… so enjoy every single day and make the most of it!

Speak soon,

A Sense of Normality

I know the feeling. Coming back from a break from school and university can be hard. All sense of normality seems miles away.

Today’s blog is hopefully going to help you get back to normal! I hope you enjoy.


Get a diary! – This has honestly changed how I organise my day. Every morning, I sit for 5 minutes or less and write out what I need to get done that day and what classes I have. At the very end of the day, it is very (strangely) satisfying to tick off all I have achieved. Plus, if you get a really aesthetically pleasing diary you will be more likely to use it. Amazon have loads!

Start something new – I know this contradicts the point of getting back to normal but starting something new after a break might be a good way to get you looking forward to the work life. For example, my new ‘something’ for getting back to normal is meal prepping. I have never had to do this before but, now that I am starting placement I need to bring my healthy lunches with me and be prepared. I’m not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to it. 

Ease back in slowly – Sometimes the thought of going back to school or university can be quite daunting and so you try to get everything organised as soon as possible. Instead of rushing to get things organised at the last-minute, take some time before starting back to organise yourself and the work you have done over the break. This way, you will feel more relaxed about going back to school or university as you are prepared. 

Be happy – Don’t think of going back to work and assignments as a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to learn new things and broaden your mind! Mindset is everything (something I have learned this past year) and so, if you think positively about getting back to the normal school/life balance, it won’t seem as bad. 


I hope you enjoyed these tips of how to get back to normal after having a break. I myself practice these tips and find them very helpful to get me back on track.

“I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in.”

– Roger Clemens-

Staying on course – Keeping your sights set on University

Staying On Course


Reminding yourself time and time again that every social event or 8 hour sleep that you miss is going to be worthwhile can be exhausting. Trust me. Keeping your eyes on the prize for months on end really can become a futile task, but there are a few ways that you can keep your sanity and almost live to tell the tale of how you got the grades you wanted, made your first choice and finally exited the vicious circle that is education before University.


Meet your deadlines

Deadlines exist for a reason. We all hate them, I actually think that if we didn’t have deadlines we would probably get our work done sooner, and better. The fact is, however, that we are usually given deadlines for our work. These deadlines are there to keep us in check, and as much as we hate them they cannot be ignored. Get your work done, and you won’t have to stress over it. Start things with plenty of time to spare, and finish up as soon as you can.


Study as much as you can

Exams are a killer. In fact if you study in the UK count yourself lucky. Some places, like my own Ireland, don’t use coursework based assessment and students have between 6 and 10 exams at the end of their final year that will determine what university they get into. Exams are great though. As much as you might protest about them don’t think of exams as a test of memory, think of them as a test of knowledge. If you are confident, and understand your course exams won’t be a problem. Finally, study how you learn. Youtube videos count as study if they are on the topic!


Relax, dont stress

Alright. So if you are meeting your deadlines, getting your work done well and on time and keeping up on your revision you have the whole assessment covered. But you cant let yourself burn out. If you end up feeling like the whole world is pushing down on you all you will be thinking about is how much you hate learning and that’s not what you hate. You hate feeling like you are learning for someone else. Take plenty of breaks, get good sleep and don’t put yourself out there for anyone else. Do your thing, for you.


That’s everything. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Setting Goals for 2019 – Making the most at Edge Hill

New Year Goals


With the first semester over at university you may be thinking back over the times during when things didn’t really follow your plan. That might be that you never got the job you were looking for, or never got the grades you expected. It happens to all of us but in this blog post I want to talk about three ways that you can turn yourself around, and not give up hope on the goals you wanted to achieve.


Don’t forget your old goals

It might be tempting to simply write off those things that you just had to achieve in your first few months at university because you haven’t yet accomplished them. But don’t. Remember that perseverance in the face of extreme doubt is the only  way to get where you want. I personally wanted to have my driving test passed before Christmas. When I didn’t, I came back after the new year with a positive attitude. I wasn’t bogged down with the fact I hadn’t passed, and shortly after the new year I got my full license. So don’t forget your goals.


Make positive changes

I’m not even batting around the bush with this one. Coursework. If you left it to the last moment last year, that might be in university or college, then don’t. Get your coursework down as quickly as possible and use all of the time given to you. Not doing so is a massive mistake. Apart from that make a list of things that you know you want to change. Maybe its going to the gym more, or maybe its simply learning a new skill. Whatever it is, if you want it then go for it.


Reward yourself

Don’t forget to relax. All work and no play is no good for you. Take the time out to get yourself something nice, take a break, go home and see family. Just chill out. If you push yourself too hard towards something then eventually you will burn out. You don’t want to start really excited to get what you want and end up not wanting it because you pushed too hard too early.


That’s everything. Take these three things and you will be praised, trust me. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Edge Hill University 1st Year Review – Taking a look back

EHU 1st Year Review


Looking back on my first year I have accomplished a lot. I’ve made friends, had experiences and changed my life forever. In most of my blogs I try to follow the simple strategy of writing about things that I would want to have known when I started. So here is the things that I know now about first year that I wish I had known when I moved in. Hopefully they can relate to you and help someone out there.


Image result for ehu accommodationAccommodation: The accommodation on campus is some of the best I have ever seen. It might be annoying that the windows are child locked so it can get hot, but in the winter it’s amazing. Lots of space, underbed storage and a massive wardrobe.

 


Image result for edge hill campusCampus: Lakes, beaches, rolling hills and grassy parks. Campus ends up a lot more like a fancy holiday resort, the peaceful walks give plenty of places to stroll. I wish that I did more of this in the long evenings before winter set in. Don’t swim in the lakes though, £50 fines!


Image result for edge hill staffStaff: The staff at the university always have an open ear for students. In my first year I didn’t find a single member of staff was was unhelpful, intimidating or impatient. I honestly believe that their TEF Gold award is well deserved and the university is always ensuring that its staff is at the forefront of every project on campus, not to the side.


That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about EHU and first year then check out my first year blog posts here!

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!